Stillman, Sarah, Sandra V. Rozo, Abdulrazzak Tamim, I. Bailey Palmer, Emma Smith, and Edward Miguel. (2022) “The Syrian Refugee Life Study: First glance.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy, vol. 38, no. 3: 625–653, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxrep/grac023.
This paper presents descriptive statistics from the first wave of the Syrian Refugee Life Study (S-RLS), which began in 2020. S-RLS is a longitudinal study that tracks a representative sample of approximately 2,500 registered Syrian refugee households in Jordan. It collects comprehensive data on sociodemographic variables, health and well-being, preferences, social capital, attitudes, and safety and crime perceptions. We use these data to document the sociodemographic characteristics of Syrian refugees in Jordan and compare them to representative populations in the 2016 Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey (JLMPS). Our findings point to lags in basic service access, housing quality, and educational attainment for Syrian refugees relative to non-refugees. The impacts of the pandemic may partially explain these disparities. The data also show that most Syrian refugees have not recovered economically after COVID-19 and have larger gender disparities in income, employment, prevalence of child marriage, and gender attitudes than their non-refugee counterparts. Finally, mental health problems were common for Syrian refugees in 2020, with depression indicated among more than 45 percent of the phone survey sample and 61 percent of the in-person survey sample.